Posted inFilm

The Screed We Need

Fahrenheit 9/11 *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Michael Moore. It’s bracing to see the documentary coming into its own these days, generating some of the excitement and interest that accompanied foreign (mainly European) pictures back in the 60s, when there were far more independent theaters to show them. But the New Wave and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Differently Abled

The Swinger at Live Bait Theater, through July 3 Blurred Vision Tellin’ Tales Theatre at Live Bait Theater, through June 27 Rob Howard is a thirtysomething, happily married Jewish lawyer whose lean good looks suggest solid time put in at the health club and other loci of cosmetic activity. Tekki Lomnicki is a 47-year-old, regretfully […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, Etc. Concerts !!!, STAG PARTY, DJ FRIAR TUCK See Critic’s Choice; all-ages. Tue 6/29, 8:30 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie. 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499. BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY Fri 6/25, 6 PM, Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp, Aurora. 630-844-4396. BLACK NOIZE with Woody Rock. Sun 6/27, 3 PM, DuSable Museum of African […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fahrenheit 9/11

For once the hype is true: Michael Moore outdoes himself as a polemicist, surveying the presidency of George W. Bush as if our lives depended on it. He’s grown in ambition both as a documentary filmmaker and as a tactician, showing restraint and using other voices when necessary. (His depiction of the World Trade Center […]

Posted inArts & Culture

If . . . Then . . .

IF…THEN…, ChicagoImprovAnarchy (CIA), at Strawdog Theatre Company. The concept behind this late-night improv offering is fairly simple. The first scene–based on a location suggested by the audience–is interrupted when one of the characters faces a decision, at which point his or her “doppelganger” is introduced. The rest of the show follows the different courses of […]

Posted inFilm

Abouna (Our Father)

This understated but affecting 2002 drama, which director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun says is one of just three features ever made in Chad, should be required viewing for American kids who think they’ve got troubles. The father of two boys disappears; the mother, unable to cope, enrolls the boys in a remote and harsh Islamic school. Haroun’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beat the Jester

BEAT THE JESTER, at Chicago Dramatists. Beverly-bred playwright Gary Slezak brings local color to this tale of aldermanic succession, and he also knows his family-drama archetypes. Paterfamilias and ward boss Slap Lucek has shuffled off this mortal coil but beams on mirthlessly from the barroom wall. Disappointing son Danny–who’s cut a deal with daddy’s rival […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story According to a May report in the New York Times, during a six- to eight-week period each spring in certain parts of Vermont and Virginia it’s legal to use firearms to hunt pike and several other types of fish. Armed with pistols, shotguns, and assault rifles, fish shooters (some of whom wait in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Big Bad Wolf and His Gassy Gang

BIG BAD WOLF AND HIS GASSY GANG, Second City Children’s Theatre. Children’s entertainment has come a long way since Goodnight Moon–consider this play’s predecessor, in which the title character squared off against a villain who wore tighty whities on his head. In Second City Children’s Theatre’s latest installment of the “Big Bad Wolf” series, children […]

Posted inNews & Politics

When Men Become Meat

Male lions in zoos typically sport impressive manes, but the two that in 1898 killed and ate 140 construction workers at East Africa’s Tsavo River were maneless–as are many dominant males in the wild, says Field Museum zoologist Bruce Patterson. After terrorizing the populace for nine months and earning a reputation as evil incarnate, the […]